Vines & Canines

| April 19, 2012

At first glance it may seem like an unlikely pairing, but wine with your canine is the hottest trend in town.

The unique concept was born of Marc DeMichele, founder of Vines and Canines, 1760 Frankfort Avenue. Wanting to combine his passion for his dog and his love for fine wine, DeMichele and long-time friend, Dale Price, opened an online-only version of the new popular pet and wine shop.

“I used to do a lot of education for people in their home,” said DeMichele. “They’d have me come in and bring wines and teach parties about wine, and I started seeing every time I did this, (there were dogs there)…I think there’s a mentality that they’re kind of symbiotic with one another. There’s an affinity between the two.”

After a huge boom in business with their online store, DeMichele and Price decided to open up shop in early 2012.
I stopped by the boutique with photographer Chris Humphreys last week to peruse the exclusive liquor selection and pet merchandise. While I left my dog at home during the visit, you can actually bring your four-legged friend along for the trip. The store features plush couches for lounging and relaxing, as well as leashes, apparel, Paul Mitchell pet hair care and pet and human food. The shelves are also stocked with small production bourbon and a top-notch wine selection chosen by DeMichele.

“We try to do really unique wines,” he said. “Most everything is very small production – under 5,000 cases…We have a number of wines that are under 500 cases.”

“Marc’s too modest to say it, but he’s a level one sommelier, was in Naples for years running restaurants and doing wine tastings in people’s homes,” said Price, who is president of the company. “So the wines that he’s brought into the store…about 90 percent of them, you’re not going to find anywhere else in town.”

Several of the wines for sale can be sampled each night at Vines and Canines during their daily tasting beginning just in time for happy hour at 5 p.m.

“We do a tasting every night and people bring their dogs and typically tend to stay for like an hour or two…which is really unique for a wine store,” said DeMichele. “We taste from 5 to 9 (p.m.) pretty much every evening. Our concept is a little cheeky but our wine selection is very serious. While we do have dog products, as well, we’re very serious as far as the wines go.”

Chris and I tried a bottle of Rias Baixas, a white wine, with DeMichele and Price. The delicious citrus-y, fruit-flavored libation added to my limited wine tasting experience, and had me eager to test out the other varieties lining the store.

Aside from sipping wine and hanging with pooches, though, Vines and Canines also places an importance on supporting the Kentucky Humane Society. “We work with Kentucky Humane Society and try to generate money for them,” said DeMichele. “We do a large tasting in the middle of the month every month. It’s a free tasting but we take donations for the humane society for that.”

Additionally, the store hosts an animal rescue day for those looking to add to their pet family. So far, Vines and Canines has found a home for three different dogs, and may soon add to that list with my recent quest to adopt a new puppy.

Whether you’re searching for a new favorite fine wine, a gift for your dog or the chance to take one home, Vines and Canines is worth a visit or two throughout the week. The relaxing atmosphere is excellent for an evening with great friends and spirits, all while entertaining your canine sitting right at your side.

Vines and Canines is open Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m.
For more information on Vines and Canines, visit www.vinesandcanines.com or call 502.409.5141.

Contact writer Ashley Anderson at aanderson@voice-tribune.com, 502.498.2051.

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Category: Out & About

About the Author (Author Profile)

Ashley Anderson

Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).

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